A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~ Lao Tzu
Is that first step ever a big one. Sometimes it feels like it’s the hardest one of all. At least it has been for me. It was all the cliches: easier to stay the course, not upset the apple cart, not face the elephant in the room. The closer I got to the precipice, the more frightened and anxious I became. And the harder I tried to step away from it. I had all the usual internal dialogue: it was better to stay together than have the kids bounced back and forth; it’s not really that bad; if I could just (insert whatever here) things would be better. Of course, the few times we got close to splitting up, the threat that if I left my life would be made “hell” was pretty successful at keeping me in line. Because that’s pretty scary to contemplate, and it makes it easier to sweep everything that can be swept under the rug and go on like everything is fine.
Fear can be so incredibly debilitating. As a woman who left her corporate, professional career to be a stay-at-home mom, it was terrifying to consider how I would support myself and my children on my own, after being out of the workforce for so long. Yeah, the support of the kids wouldn’t have all been on me, because it’s not like their Dad was a deadbeat. But to have become someone who was scared – of the present, of the future, of the what if’s and all the unknowns. It was exhausting.
It’s damn scary looking into that “abyss.” For a long time knowing something was off: I wasn’t happy, but thinking (and, let’s not sugar coat it: being told) it was me – I was depressed, or unhappy because I was overweight, or just struggling to be what I needed to be. Really, I was struggling to deal with someone who was a bit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That’s hard – not knowing who was going to walk in the door each evening. The subconscious feeling of walking on eggshells, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. Thinking that I had some control over things. Being told often enough that if I didn’t do this or that, or DID do this or that, things would be so very much better. How often did I hear “this is what you do” as a reason or excuse for a fight. It can sort of make a person find herself in a place where she questions herself – her sanity, her ability to communicate, her very “self” – more than is healthy. If I could just do “this” or “that,” or say “this” or “that,” maybe it would be okay and it would be a good night. And then dealing with the storm when it wasn’t.
Sigh. It sucked. Really.
So, this is going to be my online journal, of my journey in pivoting my life in a new direction, and either reconnecting with my “spark,” or finding a new spark. I’ve already made some progress; I’ve taken that first terrifying step. I’m still terrified, but it’s mixed with excitement about the future, and maybe a little bit of elation. I’m on my way! If you’d like to tag along, I’d love the company.